Nov 20, 2011

Niagara Falls, New York

Even though I have been to Niagara Falls many times it never fails to impress me. The falls are mesmerizing. This was the first time we stayed at the Seneca Niagara Casino. We could see the spray of the Falls from our room and it was a short walk to the center of the Falls-viewing activities. The park area around the falls is much nicer than I remember and there is a trolley connecting various attractions. No visit to Niagara Falls is complete without a trip on the Maid of the Mist. It is a wonderful experience. We were lucky to board at noon after all the tour groups had moved on. I remember reading that upon seeing Niagara Falls Abraham Lincoln exclaimed, “Where does all that water come from?” Four of the Great Lakes, of course. It may sound a bit inane but the amount of water that gushes over the falls continuously is truly impressive. People have been viewing the falls from the Maid of the Mist since 1836. All of the viewing boats, past and present, have carried the same name. It honors a young Indian maiden who was sacrificed at the falls. I heard two versions of her story while I was there – both with the same tragic end.

After the Maid of the Mist we saw the movie at the Niagara Legends of Adventure Theater. It was a wonderful surprise. The film covers the area’s history from earliest times with filming so realistic that it actually looked like people went over the falls while making the film. It is definitely a do-not-miss. We learned more about the falls at the Wax Museum. It was the first time John and I had been to a Wax Musuem. I love the story of 63-year-old former teacher, Annie Taylor, who was the first person to successfully go over the falls in a barrel. She had hoped to make money for her later years but died penniless. She is reported to have said, “I would caution anyone against attempting the feat... I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Falls.” The Cave of the Winds is always exciting – and wet! This is the first time we walked the trail from Goat Island to the Three Sisters Islands. The force of the rapids is amazing. There were many foreigners at the falls. It was fun to see how impressed they were. One young man from England said it was his dream to see Niagara Falls and it was more spectacular than he had ever imagined. The trolley also took us to the Aquarium, which we always find interesting. They were feeding the penguins and seals.

Via our car we visited the Whirlpool State Park, Devil’s Hole State Park, the Visitor Center at the Robert Moses Power Project and the Lady of Fatima Shrine. It was a pleasure to return to the Seneca Niagara Casino after a busy day of sightseeing. They have excellent restaurants. We enjoyed the Noodle Bar in the Koi Restaurant and the Four Diamond Western Door Steakhouse. They have a great spa, an indoor swimming pool, and gaming. I think that the casino would make a great winter getaway. The falls must be majestic in the winter